|VAUGHN: Local pastor: Miracles happen every day
|Posted: Sunday, July 1, 2012 5:57 am
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|Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two-part series.
David Pittman said miracles happen every day while many people may explain them away by thinking that it was either good luck, or as some would describe a close-call: missing a bullet.
Pittman, 64, believes emphatically his personal life and professional career are a series of miracles, all God-ordained.
He explained in this manner, “Being asked to Murfreesboro in 2002 as director of missions for the Concord Baptist Association was a miracle from God. Still alive and enjoying a relatively normal life after being diagnosed with cancer in 2007 is yet another miracle.”
I think his story is an interesting one. He can tell it better than anyone else.
Pittman said, “I was born and reared in Orlando, Fla., then attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville to earn a master’s degree. Following graduation, I accepted a teaching position with the Knox County School System and then later with the local school system back in Orlando, my hometown.
“I spent eight years as an educator, and during all of that time, I believed that God was calling me to Christian service as a minister; not thinking of myself as a pulpit preacher or evangelist, but as someone behind the scenes as an educational pastor.
“I suppose I was like Jonah in the Bible. I gave all the reasons why I should not answer my calling. Later, my in-laws, knowing that I had grown tired of working in public education, offered me a bookkeeping job with their retail store in Sarasota, which gave me other reasons to put off the calling; new career, extra responsibilities; and besides I was doing my part by teaching a Sunday School class and was immersed in church activities.
“And besides, how could I go to seminary with a wife and three children to support? Finally, I knew that I could not ignore the tugging at my heart’s strings. I enrolled at Southwest Seminary in Fort Worth.”
With his educational preparation behind him, the young Pittman family found a home in Chattanooga with him working for an association of churches.
That assignment continued for the next 15 years. Then “from out of the blue” he received a telephone call asking him to apply for the job in Murfreesboro.
When he became director of missions for the Concord Association, the organization was housed in an old building on South Church Street that consisted of three-and-a-half acres of property.
He said, “The Concord Association was organized back in 1810. Our property had been part of a farm, and was donated by the landowner to support the Association for local Baptist churches. Today there are 65 churches that belong to our group.”
There is more to the story.
Pittman explained, “The leaders of our Association knew the land was more valuable than the building because of the rapid growth in Murfreesboro, especially after two Realtors approached us about purchasing it. Their offers were the same, $750,000.
“We had no idea about the worth of the property, so we got it appraised. We did a double take when told it should bring at least $900,000. We then decided to price it at $1.2 million which would give us a little room to bargain if necessary.
“A Realtor from Chattanooga representing Auto Zone offered us $1.2 million provided that we (the association) pay for putting in the infrastructure. Our response was that we wanted to get our asking price and be able to just walk away. He turned us down.
“To show you God’s hand in the situation, another Realtor asked me what we wanted, and he never flinched when told the asking price along with our other requirements. Before I could take his offer to our Administrative Leadership Team, the Chattanooga Realtor called back and asked if we had changed our minds.
“I explained that a local Realtor had matched our price with no stipulations, but I had not presented it to the leadership for consideration. This time, the man from Chattanooga raised the ante and said that he would give us $1,310,000 and furthermore would also be responsible for all utilities and infrastructure.”